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Larry Fine: Larry Fine Meets Stuff Smith: Fine Stuff (2011)

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Larry Fine: Larry Fine Meets Stuff Smith: Fine Stuff How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Larry Fine was often shown playing the violin in various The Three Stooges shorts, but what many fans don't realize is that he really played the instrument. Fortunately, he was also interested in jazz and an admirer of Stuff Smith
Stuff Smith
Stuff Smith
1909 - 1967
violin
. This long forgotten radio broadcast likely originated from a Hollywood club during one of the recording bans put in place by James J. Petrillo in the 1940s. It was so obscure that even Anthony Barnett, Stuff Smith
Stuff Smith
Stuff Smith
1909 - 1967
violin
discographer and owner of the jazz violin label AB Fable, was unaware of its existence. He tried to acquire it to issue it himself, though the Japanese collector who stumbled across these performances decided to issue it himself.

The music is quite enjoyable, with Fine generally soloing first to avoid being overshadowed by the talented Smith. It's only natural that they would play "Three Blind Mice," which was the theme song for many of the Three Stooges' film shorts, this version is full of fun and hot solos. Dvorak's "Humoresque" was of great interest to jazz musicians with a classical background (especially Art Tatum
Art Tatum
Art Tatum
1909 - 1956
piano
), and this version does not disappoint.

Most of the rest of the date includes standards from the 1930s and 1940s, though Fine joins Smith in the jive vocal fun of the latter's hit song "I'se A-Muggin.'" The rhythm section is first rate, with pianist Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
1912 - 1986
piano
, bassist John Simmons and drummer Cozy Cole
Cozy Cole
Cozy Cole
1906 - 1981
drums
, with guitarist Les Paul
Les Paul
Les Paul
1915 - 2009
guitar, electric
sitting in for the exciting finale of "Caravan" that stretches for an incredible twelve minutes. While the sound exhibits some wear from the source material and audience noise, it will be of great interest to fans of jazz violin, though its limited distribution in North America will make it hard to acquire.


Track Listing: Three Blind Mice; My Blue Heaven; Humoresque; Ain't She Sweet; I Know That You Know; Honeysuckle Rose; I'se A-Muggin'; Caravan.

Personnel: Larry Fine: violin, vocals; Stuff Smith: violin, vocals; Teddy Wilson: piano; John Simmons: bass; Cozy Cole: drums; Les Paul: electric guitar.

Record Label: Shigatsubaka

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Shigatsubaka (2011)
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